How to restore lost files from a USB stick

USB sticks, or flash drives, are great for storing files that you need to bring along to your office or on a trip. Since they come in large sizes, there are no real limits to the type of file you can store on it.

But like with any storage medium, files on USB sticks can get lost. Whether it is by accidental deletion, disk corruption, incorrect removal or a virus, a situation can occur where files on the USB stick are no longer accessible from the Windows file explorer, or retrievable from the Recycle Bin.

Although this often might not be a problem, since USB sticks are generally used to move files from one place to another, you will often see this problem happen just when you did save your changes to the USB stick!

Very often it is quite possible to still retrieve the lost files from the USB stick using a recovery program. The first thing to remember is to not copy any new data to the USB stick, as that can overwrite the lost files you want to restore!

Here are the steps to use Quick Data Recovery Pro to restore files from a USB stick:

Step 1 – Download and install the Quick Data Recovery Pro software.

Click this link to download the software installer, and once the download completes, double-click the file to install the program on your Windows computer.

Step 2 – Insert the USB stick into a working USB port.

Note: in case the file loss is the result of a virus, make sure the computer you are using has active, and up-to-date anti-virus software installed, so it does not get infected!

Step 3 – Start the Quick Data Recovery Pro application on the computer.

You can double-click the desktop icon, or start the program from the Start menu.

Step 4 – In the first application window, click the Recovery Files & Folders option.

Select the option to recover files and folders

Step 5 – Select the volume to recovery data from and click the Start Scan button.

The volume is the disk volume, or drive, that will be scanned by the program. Here you need to select the drive letter that is associated with your USB stick.

Select volume for USB drive

Next, wait for the scan to complete and the results to come up. Please note that if the results do not show the file you are looking for, you can try the scan again with the Advanced Scan option selected instead of the Normal Scan.

Step 6 – Search for the file to restore fom the USB stick.

In the scan results you can see the folders in the left-hand side of the window. Deleted folders show with a red cross in the folder icon. Once you select a folder, the bottom-right-hand side of the window will show you the files in the folder, again deleted files showing with a red cross in the icon.

Showing scan results of USB stick

For recognized file types, you can see a preview of the file contents by clicking the file name. The top half of the right-hand side of the window will show the file contents if available. For non-recognized file types, you will see a hexadecimal display.

Once you found the file to restore from the USB stick, select it (or them in case multiple files need to be restored), and click the Recover icon in the bottom-right of the window.

Note: In case you have not registered the application yet, the program will prompt you to do so at this time.

Step 7 – Select the destination for the file(s) to be restored.

The last step is for you to select the drive and folder where you want to restore the file to. This needs to be a different location, do not select the USB stick as the destination, as that would not allow future recovery attempts to take place. So select a different drive and folder, and click OK.

That s it, the file(s) you selected are now restored from the USB stick to the drive you selected. Use the Windows file explorer to navigate to the destination and open the files with their original application!